MPs attack TPR over approach to money purchase

The Pensions Regulator has made a slow start in the regulation of money purchase schemes, an influential committee of MPs has found.

The House of Commons committee on public accounts has issued a report slamming TPR’s achievements in raising standards of scheme governance and communications with members.
It says that while TPR has information on 99 per cent of final salary schemes by membership, it only has details of 32 per cent of money purchase schemes, despite having expected to have completed its database of schemes by last month.
The report also found that only 15 per cent of all trustees are registered on TPR’s trustee web-based training toolkit and the majority do not complete all the modules.
MPs also found that TPR has done little to generate improvements in understanding of pensions despite the risk this lack of knowledge posed money purchase schemes.
The report says: “In a field such as pensions, with long term liabilities subject to short term volatility, TPR will need to be alert to the scope for new problems and risks to emerge.
“There are signs of improvement in the adequacy of the funding of final salary
pension schemes. However, TPR has made a slower start in the regulation of money purchase schemes, and much remains to be done in improving standards of scheme governance and communications with members.
“Further work is also needed to improve the information held by TPR about schemes and to use this information to target regulatory effort at individual schemes. It must also use its new powers, and clearly explain the reasons for their use, in order that the pensions community understand its expectations. In a field such as pensions, with long term liabilities subject to short term volatility, TPR will need to be alert to the scope for new problems and risks to emerge.”